National Capital Area Chapter (Washington, DC)

 18th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference

Guy Caruso, CSIS Senior Advisor to the Energy and National Security Program; and Mark Lively, NCAC-USAEE President, addressing the 18th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference.


On April 22 2014, the National Area Chapter of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics (NCAC-USAEE) held its 18th annual Washington Energy Policy Conference. As has been the case since 2010, this highly-regarded event was held in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  The Conference was a great success with a packed house which at times was standing room only in a room setup for 130 people.  At the long day event, fifteen speakers and five moderators addressed the topic, “Disruptive Technologies Shock All Energy Sectors, We didn’t see them coming.  We don’t know what’s next.  How will they shape the future?”  

After welcoming comments from Mark Lively, NCAC-USAEE President, and Guy Caruso, CSIS Senior Advisor to the Energy and National Security Program, Keynote speaker Johnathan Silver delivered a riveting speech with a memorable comment that to be disruptive, technologies have to be right for a particular time and place.

The first panel, moderated by long time NCAC-USAEE member Tom Woods, covered disruptive technology issues in the oil and gas sector, particularly fracking.  Katherine Spector from CIBC, Chris Faulkner from Breitling Energy, and Robert Kleinberg from Schlumberger discussed decline curves, the massive increase in U.S. oil and gas production brought on by fracking, and the technical challenges of duplicating the U.S. shale revolution in other countries.  Mr. Kleinberg pointed out that fracking is a technology still in its infancy, and future technological developments could result in a massive increase in the amount of natural gas recovered from any given well.

John Jimison, currently on the NCAC-USAEE council and a former president of the chapter, led the second panel which focused on the electric sector.  Wartsila’s Joe Ferrari, GE’s David Malkin, NREL’s Doug Arent, and Citi Group’s Ed Morse discussed the technological breakthroughs, and political, social, and financial barriers and opportunities that are at play as we consider potential disruptive change in the electrical sector.  A main takeaway from this panel is how the increase in energy efficiency has the potential for being the most impactful and game changing development in the next few years.

After lunch Mike Carr, from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE offered insights into his Office’s programs and policies, and commented that no one technology is likely to be the game changer, but a simultaneous convergence of technologies will likely bring transformation.

The afternoon panel dealt with disruptive technology in the transport and building sectors.  Janine Finnell, an Energy, Sustainability & Environmental Professional, led the discussion.  Bob Dixon from Siemens, William Chernicoff from Toyota, and Lawrence Jones from Alstom Grid talked about advances in this sector, including self-sustaining buildings and end users ability to control their energy use profiles.  This panel featured a spirited conversation and Q&A session on whether upcoming changes in transportation are truly disruptive or simply incremental.

Kevin Book from ClearView Energy Partners wrapped-up the day with a powerful speech on transformational changes and the role of government.

Slides of the speakers' presentations are available on the NCAC-USAEE website at http://ncac-usaee.org/archives2014.php.

The NCAC-USAEE holds its Washington Energy Policy Conference every year.  We look forward to having USAEE members from other chapters attend in the future.

Contact: R. Omar Cabrales, President, NCAC-USAEE
Energy Industry Analyst, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Washington, DC)